Pattaya plans more designated beach swimming zones

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Pattaya authorities plan to cordon off another five swimming areas to add to the 10 zones already designated as places where beachgoers can swim without fear of being run over by boats and jet skis.

Tourists are encouraged to swim inside the designated swimming areas.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome said Wong Amat Beach next year will be given the same 150-by-100 meter zones marked off by florescent orange buoys that now dot Pattaya and Jomtien beaches. The zones are part of a 10 million baht plan to improve beach safety that also includes lifeguard stations.

Itthiphol said at an Oct. 13 press conference that the six zones in Jomtien and four in Pattaya are meant to restore confidence in marine safety after a year that has seen a number of deaths and accidents, most recently that of an Iranian tourist who was hit and killed by a jet ski.

Even though that tourist was swimming in a non-designated swim zone, the mayor insisted it still was safe to swim outside the buoys. Anywhere up to 50 meters from the markers should is safe, he said.

The mayor said marine officers will regularly patrol around swimming areas and that an emergency care station would be set up at Bali Hai Pier.